West Ham are set to axe long-term absentee Winston Reid this summer opting for Alaves’ Guillermo Maripan.
West Ham have not been without their injury problems in recent times and Winston Reid, once a star player in the side, is one of their most challenging.
Reid has been absent since last March having picked up an injury against Swansea City and, though he has since recovered, has struggled to battle his way back into the squad.
A task made infinitely harder by impressive debut seasons from Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop – the former touted his much-anticipated return from injury in the next few weeks.
The Daily Mail have stipulated that Manuel Pellegrini is keen on reinforcing his current defensive options this summer and is looking to find a player who can consistently partner with either Diop or Balbuena without risk of prolonged injuries.
One candidate in particular, Guillermo Maripan, is said to have caught his eye. The mammoth defender has been hugely impressive this season for La Liga’s surprise package Deportivo Alaves.
Alaves were topping the table at one point, but now occupy 5th place – in line for the European spots – and Maripan has played a key role.
The Chilean, who has reportedly been likened to Barcelona’s Gerard Pique because of his ball-playing tendencies also shows shades of the mightily impressive defensive general Balbuena, and could be the perfect option for compatriot Pellegrini as he looks to transform the Hammers into a contemporary footballing team.
West Ham face stiff competition from Roma, however – and the Serie A side are said to be the favourites to secure his services this summer (as per The Daily Mail).
West Ham fans, how desperate are you for a defensive overhaul? Join the discussion by commenting below…